Progress February 2023

Final Week

This week involved four days of working parties as some of the team came in on Thursday to finish some jobs off.  We started off by removing the denso tape from all the crank pins so they could be thoroughly cleaned up and then measured.

At the same time, the holes in the rods for the bushes were also cleaned out using flap wheels in preparation for the bushes being pressed in.

Others were involved in painting the bottom panels of Project 2 after grinding some countersunk rivets flush and then cleaning it out prior to it being stood up plus some more work on Charwelton.

A partial strip down of 4253 was also undertaken to enable some further painting of the tanks to be done plus to give us more room for the next phase.  The chimney was taken down and stored away followed by removal of the cab.

the driver’s side tank

and then the fireman’s’ side one.

We also collected the gradient pins from Automation Technologies which have all been checked for measurements and will now be sent away for case hardening and grinding.

On Sunday it was back to riveting and the first job was to remove some rivets in the bottom doubling plate and then fit the fixing angle last week that we’d omitted last week!

 After that, the top section was riveted to the front side sheets

followed by the accessible parts of the front and rear panels.  After that, the whole thing was lifted upright again and tied off.

The boiler continues to progress at HBSS with more of the crown stay holes tapped

and the front tube plate trial fitted.

Week Three

Work during the week was mainly preparing the tank for final riveting which involved stripping it all down and cleaning and de-burring all the joining surfaces

followed by laying a seam of mastic before bolting the floor panel (seen on the left below) and baffle plates to the side panels

and then reaming out all the holes.

Meanwhile, others were dismantling much of 4253 in preparation for removing the tanks so we have better access for fitting the rods in due course.

On Sunday, the riveting began and by day’s end we had put in some 270 rivets which included all those in the floor panel.  Given the position of those, it required a team of five with one person on the forge heating the rivets, one to carry the hot rivet and place it vertically upwards through the plate, a third to grip the rivet and hold it in position while the fourth operated a pneumatic tool to ram it home while the final person knocks it over with the rivet gun.  And all this has to be done quickly before the rivet starts to cool.

This shot shows some of the finished product.

In addition to the riveting, the balance pipe flange was prepped, positioned and welded into the back panel.

Also, we manned a stand at the local Model Railway Exhibition over the weekend to help raise some much needed funds to finish the job.

Week Two

During the week it was all hands working on Project 2 to get it ready for the final trial assembly of all the parts.  This involved fitting more baffles, drilling of new holes, reaming of some old ones and a general de-burring of everything.

Also, the top edge beading was measured, cut, welded and then clamped into place to enable the laborious job of hand drilling all the attachment holes through into the side plates.

Despite all that we still found some time to continue working on Charwelton and a start was made on rubbing down and painting the main brake shaft.

On Sunday, the tank was laid on its side and the back panels trial fitted.  These were the ones that had been bent the wrong way for Project 1 and, being mirror images, we had hoped they could be used for this tank.  Thankfully, when laid in place, they both fitted perfectly.

Some additional holes were drilled in the bottom panel that had been inaccessible when it was upright and, now that we know everything fits together properly, the rear panels were lifted off again and the whole thing can now be stripped down again next week for final cleaning up, mastic applied and bolted together again in preparation for riveting.

We also pulled 4253 out of the shed and into the daylight so it could be repositioned for the next major job.

Week One

The replacement platework for Project 2 finally got delivered on Tuesday and was immediately fitted to the base panels to check the pre-drilled holes where correct.  They were. so other, necessary holes were marked and drilled

and the edges of both new panels were prepped in readiness for being welded together.  Others continued working on loco 65 with the tanks receiving another coat and the smoke box door undercoated.

Friday saw all the many holes in the new platework reamed to the correct size, some of the baffles trial fitted to mark and drill the mounting holes

and one baffle cut and rewelded to fit properly.  On Sunday, the two side plates were welded together

and the weld then ground flush.

At the ends, parts were getting bolted together

until, at the end of the day, we were back to where we’d been a number of weeks ago.

On other fronts, 4253’s connecting rods are now back again having had the slots machined in them

and the boiler has been turned to facilitate the fitting of the crown stays.